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The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.

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3,815 ( 165)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paula Baniszewski
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Shirley Baniszewski (as Hannah Leigh Dworkin)
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Reverend Bill Collier
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Marie Baniszewski
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Hope Orbach
Patricia Place ...
Mrs. Doyle
Calvin Keet ...
Mr. Doyle
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Storyline

Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim. Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of traveling carnival workers are left for an extended stay at the Indianapolis home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her six children. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs cause her to make this arrangement before realizing how the burden will push her unstable nature to a breaking point. What transpires in the next three months is both riveting and horrific. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a child's punishment that became a woman's crime. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong and disturbing depiction of child abuse and torture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 2007 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Basement  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hayley McFarland,Scout Taylor-Compton and Hannah Leigh all played minor roles in the Gilmore Girls TV Series! Hayley played April Nardini's school friend, Scout played Dean's sister and Hannah played Charlotte, one of Emily Gilmore's apprentices. See more »

Goofs

Marlboro "Blue Pack" ( formerly known as "Milds") cigarettes can be seen behind the counter of the convenience store. This variety did not exist until 1999. See more »

Quotes

Gertrude Baniszewski: Who's in charge here?
Johnny Baniszewski: You are, mama.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final credit states "Sylvia Likens, 1949-1965". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Firewater
Written by Rusty Isabel
Performed by Rusty Isabel
Courtesy of Pure Music Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An American Crime vs. Girl Next Door
30 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First of all someone said " The Girl Next Door" wasn't based on actual events .You'd have to be oblivious not to see it's based on this case with some minor changes.

I feel that The Girl Next Door is a much more disturbing film then An American Crime because the degree of abuse is much more accurate in relation to what happened in real life.

Also I was somewhat disturbed that the the director tried to show Gertrude in a somewhat sympathetic light as if he was trying to make some sort of feminist statement that Gertrude was a victim of 50's male oppression.In reality she was a sexual sadist of unspeakable proportions.


54 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The most evil of them all Fleurus
The film's major flaw kincaid-5
Compared to The Girl Nextdoor chelsi-boswell
Deletions ManofArete
I'm no expert on the case but I know this isn't how it went down iseemoviepeople
So Inacurate melmwells
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